Miller Park

A number of neighbors and users of Miller Peninsula State Park hope to limit the proposed development of the property as state officials consider making it a “destination park.” Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Their comments varied from how much development they’d want to see — including no development at all — but the group of citizens were mostly united in their message to state parks officials: Keep Washington’s Miller Peninsula State Park as close to its natural state as possible, according to the Sequim Gazette.

A dozen-plus commenters on Jan. 27 in Port Townsend added their thought to a chorus of concerns to board members with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission about plans to change the park on the Miller Peninsula just east of Blyn into a “destination park.”

The 2,800-acre site already includes a trail system built and maintained by local hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians through second-growth forest. It also includes three miles of saltwater shoreline on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Discovery Bay.

Development of the park has been in the works since at least the mid-2000s, and in 2007, parks officials approved a vision for park “nature within reach.” That vision considered a central village lodging and amenities and park features highlighting opportunities for hiking, mountain bike and horseback riding, wildlife viewing, interpretive displays — and the concept of a “destination park,” one featuring day and night use (lodging and camping).

At the Jan. 27 meeting, peninsula residents — many of them who live in nearby neighborhoods — asked park officials to consider keeping park development minimal or the park left as is entirely.

“I believe public policy should consider people it affects the most, we are those people,” said Carrie Sunstrom, a retired landscape architect and Diamond Point resident. She said she uses the park’s trails for hiking and horseback riding.

Miller Peninsula State Park is “well-used,” “well-loved” and “exists in harmony with the surrounding neighborhood,” Sunstrom said.

“Why do you want to blow that all up?

David LeRoux said adding campsites and RV spots at this park site would be competing with nearby businesses.

“Why should the state parks be spending my money, your money, taxpayer money, to build things that will compete with private businesses?” he asked. “A lot of people use the state park just the way it is. This plan just wants to turn this park into a money pit.”

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